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Tough tech decisions

01 Jan 12

Which mobile carrier should you choose? Should you go with Mac or PC? Android or iOS? Should you invest in a new laptop or switch to a tablet? These are some of the tricky consumer decisions we’re all faced with on a daily basis. Finally, NetGuide has decided to pit these competitors against one another to settle the war of the tech titans once and for all (or at least until the next generation of tech gadgets and names emerge!) The right choices will inevitably differ from person to person, but hopefully we can help you gain some clarity and choose the sides that are right for you.
It’s always tough to decide on a mobile phone carrier in New Zealand. There may not be as many options in our small country as in some other parts of the world, but trying to choose between the carriers we do have can be a daunting task. All of the different plans, packages, bundles and combos available from each, not to mention the decision between pre-paid and post-paid and finding the best customer service (which plays a major part in our mobile phone experiences, especially if signing a contract for up to several years) can be very overwhelming.
Although it would be near impossible for us to provide you with all of the information on every option and package available from each company, we’ve compiled a short summary of each of the three major players in the industry to help get you started: 2degrees, Vodafone and Telecom. Below we have charted some of the most popular plans and options available covering a few key categories (data, texting, talk time and prepaid options) from each of these providers. We also look at an independent study conducted by Canstar Blue comparing mobile phone carriers for customer satisfaction.  At the bottom of this section, you can find the websites for each company to continue browsing plans and comparing options, but we hope this article can serve as a jumping off point into your journey to finding the perfect provider.
Customer Service
In terms of customer service, I did a little experiment of my own, calling the customer service line and visiting each provider in person with my queries. 2degrees was by far my top pick for customer service, being easiest to get a hold of, most receptive, most accurate and helpful in responding to my questions and was the most overall friendly and welcoming. On the flipside, I found Vodafone a lot tougher to deal with. When I called their customer service line, I waited on hold for ages before speaking to someone, and the person I did eventually deal with seemed shockingly uninformed. Upon visiting the Vodafone shop in person, I was met with more of the same. The attendants in the store were not only unhelpful but also seemed a bit rude and dismissive. Furthermore, in response to one of my questions, I got three entirely different answers from three different people, leaving me feeling even more confused than I was to begin with.
Telecom fared decently in the customer service arena – nothing to brag about but nothing to complain about either.
Of course, these opinions are based on my personal experiences, and could vary from person to person and depending on the circumstances. That being said, according to an independent study conducted by Canstar Blue NZ (a ratings company with the goal of helping consumers make the right choices by providing ratings based on customer satisfaction) 2degrees also reigns supreme across New Zealand consumers country wide.
2degrees’ customers were said to be most satisfied with every aspect of their phone company including price, service, reliability of service, accessibility of the plan provider, plan availability and billing.  2degrees also received five stars for overall satisfaction, earning the phone provider the Canstar Blue Most Satisfied Customers award for mobile phone carriers. Below is the chart published on the company’s website comparing companies across the above categories.

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